Summary: Paul is writing from prison in Rome after receiving a visit from Epaphras. Epaphras had been converted during Paul’s time in Ephesus and carried the Gospel to Colosse, which resulted in the establishment of the Church there. This young Church was facing challenges from other belief systems (Judaism & Gnosticism), so Paul writes to them to highlight the adequacy of Jesus and the inadequacy of any human effort in order to strengthen and encourage them. We are reminded that knowing the real Jesus will always help you stay away from the counterfeit.
(V. 1-4) Paul has a great concern for our prayer lives. It seems easy sometimes to pray superficial prayers or for our prayers to be about us and our desires. Paul reminds us of the power in prayer when he says “continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving.” Steadfast means to steadily apply great effort. When we communicate with God in prayer we should always be giving our best effort out of reverence for the God who answers. Notice where he said be watchful in it. After we pour ourselves into prayer to God, we should trust him enough to respond that we wait eagerly to see him make it happen and pour our thanks out to him with praise!
(V. 5-6) Paul basically says here: live a life worthy of the Gospel by making Gospel decisions. Your life should attract unbelievers to Jesus not repel them from it. Notice I said attract them to JESUS and not religion. Just because you go to church doesn’t mean you’re showing people Jesus. When you’re truly walking with Christ, they will naturally see Christ in you Monday through Saturday. Spending time in the word is the only way to become that type of person.
(V. 7-18) Paul finishes out the letter by using a lot of names we don’t hear much about in scripture. I believe the point here is that because ordinary people were willing to live a life of service to the Gospel, God used it to change the world. Paul reminds us that all of these people were average joes but were working diligently for the Gospel and lives were being transformed as a result.
How has your week been spiritually? / What is God teaching you?
What sins are you struggling with that you need to confess?
(V. 1-4) How often in the day do you talk with God?
(V. 1-4) This past week alone, what were the subjects of your prayers?
(V. 1-4) What’s the difference in prayer for our will and God’s will?
(V. 5-6) In what ways does your life attract people to Jesus?
(V. 5-6) In what ways does your life push people away from Jesus? (Hypocrisy, anger etc)
(V. 7-18) Is there a natural drive in you to serve the Lord? In what way?
(V. 7-18) Who’s life isn’t being transformed because you aren’t serving where the Lord wants you?